Planning for a late winter vacation this week? How about making a trip to China and celebrating their Lunar New Year, where you, along with a billion plus new friends, can experience all the colorful festival activities. Popularly known as the Chinese Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year has more than 4,000 years of history and is one of the most majestic, and the most important festival for Chinese people.
So many travel to China during this period that it is called the largest annual human migration in the world. Those who travel during this festive season are in for an exceptional experience.
With the bazaars all decorated and streets all illuminated with Chinese lamps and lanterns, visting China during its most festive season is beautiful. The New Year, which commenced from January 31 this year, will go on till February 15. Apart from this, the nature, history, culture and the fast paced life in China are reasons enough to visit the country for an unforgettable experience.
Since the locals will be spending time with their families cooking reunion dinners and decorating their homes, this festive period presents a good opportunity for tourists to tour busy Chinese cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou, or Xian, as the roads leading to the main spots in the city will be less crammed with traffic. Seize the opportunity to visit normally crowded attractions, such as Shanghai Museum, the Yu Garden (the Garden of Happiness) and the Bund, a waterfront area in Shanghai.
If you prefer exploring the rich and diverse culture of China, then this is the best time to visit major tourist hotspots such as The Great Wall, the longest wall built for defence. You can also visit the Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses, which houses thousands of life-size figures with individually unique faces, hair, and uniforms. For a peek into the 2,000 year old Chinese architecture, you can visit the Forbidden City, which is the world’s largest palatial complex built in traditional Chinese architecture from the Ming Dynasty.
Nature lovers will find China to be a haven. With strikingly diverse natural wonders, you will be spoilt for choice between visiting deserts, rivers, beautiful seashores, and mountains. In fact, the mountains have become an important part of Chinese history, philosophy, and art, so much so that the local public considers some sacred. For example, the surreal fog-covered peaks of the Huangshan Mountains or the Yellow Mountains inspired the fantastical landscapes in James Cameroon’s Avatar, and the stunning scenery of the Karst Mountains in the Li River Valley illustrate the 20 RMB bank note.
If you love shopping, then visiting China during this time would prove to be a boon. As per tradition, every family in China does a thorough house cleaning during this time and buys new decorative items for their home. Buying new clothes is a must, too. To attract more buyers, most of the shops run special discounts and offers during this time. From trendy clothes, to modern jewellery, to fake handbags, and amazing souvenirs, shopping in China can be addictive.
The Chinese cuisine is another reason why you should travel to China. Regardless of the festivities, the food here has a character of its own, with almost all the dishes having a story or a history attached to it. The food here is so diverse that an entirely separate piece could be written dedicated solely to the Chinese cuisine, however for now, this mention will have to do it justice.
With so much incredible things to do, plan a trip to China and take home a lot of amazing memories.
What do you find most exciting about China?